On November 1 2018, the Redlands College Grade 8 Japanese Class went on an excursion with Mrs Hegarty and Mr Peterson to the Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens. For part of our time, we had a lesson in the beautiful, tranquil Japanese gardens. We learnt what aspects of the garden symbolised and where they originated. We also did some activities including writing our own reflective Haiku Poems, and painting our own Sumi-e (Ink Painting) using Japanese ‘bamboo’ brush strokes.
Subsequently, we came to the best part of the day (not bias at all!) LUNCH! We got to pre-select our orders, and each got our own ‘Bento Boxes’ (Japanese lunch box) with chopsticks. I (Shannon) accidentally mistook the ‘edamame’ for snow peas, and bit into to the pod which had quite an unpleasant flavour and texture. Just after I spat it out, our amazing teacher Mrs Hegarty informed us that only the peas inside the pod were to be eaten. However, the edible parts of the Bento Box were ‘おいしい’(delicious).
To complete our wonderful day we visited the extraordinary ‘Bonsai’ display. This consisted of an assortment of magnificent miniature trees. We were astounded when we were told that an enormous tree we saw in the garden was the same type as a minuscule version which had been through the ‘Bonsai treatment’. We also saw a gigantic bearded dragon which had obviously not been through the ‘Bonsai treatment’ (just kidding, it was a statue).
Our experience at the botanic gardens was terrific and we would highly recommend it the next year of Grade 8’s. This excursion has grossly increased our understanding of Japanese culture, traditions and viewpoints, as well as being heaps of fun! We would love to have many more opportunities for learning and enjoyment from excursions in the years to come! Many thanks to all the teachers who put in a lot of effort to organise this event.
Written by Shannon Macleod and Katherine Elvery on behalf of the Grade 8 Japanese Class.